Last week, I took a photo of my husband in the combine unloading corn into the grain buggy that was unloading into the semi on the road. This is not normally how it happens with our harvest team lined up by the road. Duane was in the combine, Dave in the grain buggy and Tony in the semi, and corn went from one to the other.
    I had dropped off a late lunch for my husband, and I parked on the side of the road. The ditch was wet and slippery, and I did not want to get stuck. I left the truck and walked to the combine to hand up the bag from Culver’s and a soda. When I turned around, I saw our crew working around the problem I had caused.
    The next semi was coming in for pick up but could not get in the right spot between the electric poles and the fiber optic box because I was parked in the wrong spot. The trucks had to stay on the road to be loaded all throughout this fall. With wet conditions and heavy corn, we do not have time to get stuck.
    Dave hopped out of the grain buggy to move the full semi down the road so Tony could pull up with the empty semi and back into the loading spot. I tried to run back to the truck to get out of the way, but the cut corn stalks and muddy conditions made it impossible to hurry much faster than a quick walk. As I was approaching the truck, I was scolding myself for not paying attention to the process that was required to get the corn out of the field and back to the farm. I was right in the way and slowing down the crew. I was sure one of the guys would mention it to me later.
    This year has been difficult on all of us. Wet, cold spring. Late planting. Difficulty putting up hay and corn silage. Immature corn at harvest, taking longer drying time and only if you had fuel to dry it. Hay could not get baled. Corn silage trouble. Wet fields from rain and snow. We all have the same story. 2019 has been a very long, hard year.
    As I opened the door on the truck to get in, Tony waved hello to me while he walked back to get into the full semi and return to the farm. It was that wave, the kind gesture, that made me think about how lucky and thankful I am for all of the help we have this year. Thankful for health, that we are all here together again this harvest.
    Tina Hinchley, her husband, Duane, and their daughters, Anna and Catherine, milk 240 registered Holsteins with robots. They also farm 2,300 acres of crops near Cambridge, Wisconsin.  They have been hosting farm tours for over 20 years.